Most of everyone who knows me would agree that I am a compulsive planner. This habit has been reinforced on several occasions when I have been better prepared than others in situations. However, I also believe that it is quite a trade-off – between the safety of knowing in advance what to expect and the thrill and joy of leaving oneself open to an experience. The middle path is quite difficult to achieve in this case.
That was why I was very intrigued by the phrase – Negative Capability – the willingness to embrace uncertainty, live with mystery, and make peace with ambiguity. From experience, it is forced upon us too. The best laid plans can go awry often because even the best of minds cannot sometimes envision every possible scenario. That’s not the only time I have been humbled by the limitations of the human mind. From something as simple as understanding what’s really going on in another person’s mind (not to mention my own understanding of my mind) even as they tell you things to larger questions on purpose and destiny, we’d be fools to think that we can know the mechanism of everything around us.
But as humanity progresses, is there a tendency to convert everything to science, or a skill/process that anyone so inclined can master? As we discover more, I wonder if there is a collective ego that develops and one that says we can understand and control everything around us. As a race, are we becoming increasingly intolerant towards uncertainty?
But as this post says, the idea that the current version of our mind is only one step in evolution is very compelling. I wonder if, by increasingly closing our mind to uncertainty, we are moving in a direction opposite the one that will help us solve the greatest puzzle of it all – why are we here?
until next time, what’s your plan?